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Eczema and paleo? (new update)

by 10170 · September 30, 2013 at 06:19 PM

My two and a halve year old son has some atopic exzema, mostly on his legs and buttock. I have found that it changes from time to time, sometimes dissapearing. Now I have not been able to track down what factors are responsible for this.

At home, we eat paleo/primal, but the kids drink raw milk and have some other (pasteurised) dairy products.

At the nursery, where he is 3 times a week, he eats the 'conventional wisdom health food', which probably means some vegetable oils, some pasta or rice and some bread.

Is there anybody with some experience in changing eczema with a paleo-diet? Any suggestions? My next thing to try would be the dairy, but I think this will be difficult for him. He loves his milk...

Tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks

[UPDATE]

We now have had enough time to do some experimentation, and there is a relationship between my sons eczema, grains and even his behaviour. Summer was good, except for one time when there was no fruit in the nursery, so they gave him some bread. That meant two days of bad behaviour (relatively), and a little flare up of eczema.

Now since september he goes to school, but eats at home. Still he got some eczema. We thought of a little bit of stress and maybe other unknown factors. But it got worse, and we saw the behavioural changes again. So we asked him, the teacher and his friends parents if he had been eating some cookies of bread from other kids, and indeed, he did eat them. So everybody now is very strict, since 4 days. We saw immediate improvement in behaviour and gradually decreasing eczema.

For us, the surprising part was the behavioural change. The most important change is the total abscence of tantrums and anger attacks. We think he has more appetite and eats generally better. While eating the grains in school, we noticed that at night his dipers were wet againg (he normally only wears them for security and were almost never wet in the morning).

Only problem is that we don't know how much cookies and bread he ate. That would be interesting because we would like to know if a little 'cheat' causes immediate reponse or not. Can he eat an occasional slice of birthday cake at school? That's is something to keep an eye on for the future...

(another update) The little boy is doing great without the grains. The reason for updating is that we have probably (you know how tricky interpreting self experimentation is) found a relationship with dairy, but by no means as obvious. We keep him on fairly low level of dairy intake (some yoghurt a few times a week, a daily milk at school) and that seems to be ok. But if, by accident or because of circumstances, he eats more dairy, he gets some dry patches on his legs or minor red eczema spots. Completely eliminating milk is very difficult, and for now, he is doing fine!

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10 Replies

78ecfc8268ec58cdc189301f4b071088
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1648 · June 18, 2010 at 11:15 PM

I have eczema - a very very minor case, but I still have it.

I have had zero flare-ups since going paleo.

Interesting, this wasn't one of the reasons why I went paleo - but it was a very happy surprising consequence, a positive unintended side-effect!

Then, about two weeks ago, I was celebrating and went over the top and overloaded on sugar-y, grain-y cookies. First time I had had any at all, in over 6 months!

Guess what? I woke up the next day and it was back.

Side-note: my dermatologist denies there being a relationship. But to me, n=1 style, the relationship between the diet and the flare-up is too close to be coincidental.

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2241 · June 18, 2010 at 03:38 PM

Eczema is an outward sign of inflammation within the body. My son had horrible, bleeding eczema within a few months of birth. It wasn't until he was nearly 6 that we put 2+2 together :(. We had him tested with a naturopath and he is indeed, very allergic to gluten. Even a tiny amount of gluten sets off his eczema. Since you already eat Paleo, you likely already know how important diet is. I would take him off gluten immediately. Provide a gluten free snack for him when he is in the nursery. Until the eczema is healing, he won't be able to get any better. It will likely take a few weeks to notice a difference but it maybe sooner.

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3035 · October 05, 2010 at 01:34 PM

Please everyone get a meter, check blood glucose, check C-Reactive Protein (measures insulin) check A1c. Dr. Bernstein says that 100% of his diabetic patients have eczema. There is a connection. If your child or you react to high carbs in this fashion look at it as diabetes of the skin. Inflammation of the skin is a canary in the coal mine for inflammation that you cannot see. I don't want any of you to be diagnosed with diabetes down the line. Catch it here and stop it. High fat, moderate protein, low carb. I view my diabetes as a gift...when it doesn't feel like a curse.

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284
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1410 · October 05, 2010 at 03:55 PM

Even a bit of exposure once every 2 weeks or so will likely keep it flaring up. Robb Wolf talks about this in his book, but the gluten will do it for sure. Issues with milk/lactose will FOLLOW the gluten intolerance. If he gets to only raw milk, he may be okay with dairy if he's off of gluten 100%. It needs to be treated like a severe allergy. Skin conditions are just the OUTSIDE symptoms, likely the gluten is going to be highly damaging/inflammatory INSIDE his body which could potentially become more serious autoimmune conditions later.

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10004 · October 10, 2011 at 05:06 PM

The answer to dealing with eczema might be improving gut flora and Bifidobacterium. You might find this info useful about eczema:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16601353

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/whats-up-with-your-gut-beneficial-bacteria-and-good-digestive-health/

There are some people who have had success with vitamin D supplementation in treating their eczema symptoms.

http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/vitamin-d-as-an-eczema-cure.html

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/10/06/41864.aspx

Adding omega 3 fatty acids to the diet can also help with eczema symptoms. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3337461/Omega-3-can-help-eczema.html

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265 · June 24, 2010 at 02:56 AM

My 21 month old daughter has eczema on her upper back. It's been there for a few weeks. She's been almost entirely off of gluten and wheat-based foods for a few months, so I'm not sure why the flare up all of a sudden. She doesn't eat a lot of sugar, either, and we only cook with coconut oil, ghee, or butter at home. She could be getting a little exposure to gluten in restaurants as it is almost impossible to avoid, so perhaps that's the trigger. Or it may be all the cow milk she drinks. My wife won't let me feed her raw milk, but I make sure to buy only the "lightly" pasteurized (i.e., not ultra pasteurized) and non-homogenized milk from grass-fed cows. I'll tinker some more and see if I get resolve this problem. If I find anything I'll write back.

Medium avatar
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0 · September 30, 2013 at 06:15 PM

I am going to extend a non-medically advised opinion here, simply because I have 30 years of experience as an eczema sufferer. PLEASE DO NOT USE TOPICAL STEROIDS....EVER. several people in this post recommend this traditional (if you call 50 years a traditional) medical treatment. It leads to very severe consequences. My body is a living example, I used topical steroids prescribed by my derm for 20 years and battled with escalating and new symptoms as a result. Last year, I said enough and finally started my own research and came across ITSAN and it literally changed/saved my life. I quit steroids cold turkey and went paleo. My body is currently in topical steroid withdrawal (60% covered in rashy eczema) and this is an incredibly hard road to take both mentally and physically and I am not on the other side yet but I can say with 100% certainty that I made the right decision and my life is better for it. PLEASE PLEASE educate yourself (don't rely on your Dr. to do it) on the long term effects of topical steroid use, before you make the mistake I did.

Sorry for the rant, but I absolutely cringe when I see someone blindly recommend topical steroids (betamethasone), @dzone please rethink your previous post.

On to Paleo....I can say I have experimented with the effects of Paleo and Eczema ALOT since I took control of my own well-being, and I will agree with previous posters that no two people are the same and what works for me will not necessarily work for you. However, I have found a direct correlation between my skin health and what I eat. Grains and Dairy products are the main offenders, with other foods high in inflammatory properties also having a factor on how badly my eczema and topical steroid withdrawal will flare.

The cure for eczema, is the same it has been since Grok walked the earth. A natural diet and sunshine (vit D).

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77322 · October 10, 2011 at 01:36 PM

I use this medicine: betamethasone dipropionate ointment USP 0.05%

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30 · October 10, 2011 at 05:49 AM

I've been slowly moving towards a strict AI paleo diet over the past 3 months. At first I was eating a loaf of gluten-free bread every couple weeks, but for the past few weeks I've been 98% bread free and have seen a lot of improvement in my eczema. I've had eczema for 28 years, and although I've been off all traditional medication for it for about 11 years, my skin hasn't been as good as it was when I was using steroid creams. I had found like others, that when I fasted for 4+ days, that my skin would improve dramatically, but not eating forever is not an option, so... I can't stress enough how important the supplements, and giving up nightshades and eggs are to successfully clearing up eczema. I must admit that I've cheated here and there since my skin has cleared up (does anyone else struggle with this? when the eczema is flaring up, I have no problem staying on the diet, but when it starts to clear up...) but I am confident that I'm on track to a long-term solution for my eczema, allergies, and asthma. Sleeping is a huge huge part of it, too. I sleep about 10 hours a night and do my best to meditate everyday. I'm not sure if everyone who has eczema has problems with gassiness, but I know that since going paleo, all of that is gone. And most recently, while cheating, I found that I was gettin' gassy and bloated again...I hadn't even realized that the gasiness and bloating had been gone, but now I know for sure that not only do I not need to live w/eczema, I don't need to be gassy and bloated, either.

I hope everyone who has eczema, allergies, or asthma gets on board with the paleo AI diet. What brought me a lot of encouragement was reading about people who had reversed M.S. with this diet. M.S. seems like a crazy degenerative condition, and seeing how this diet could help with such a serious condition really sold me on how effective it might be for something as "trite" as a skin condition.

Hopefully the paleo AI diet becomes common knowledge soon and the incidences of eczema decrease rather than increase the way it is now.

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10170 · October 05, 2010 at 08:00 AM

(I don't know the best way the update this question, so I will copy the update in this answer:)

[UPDATE]

We now have had enough time to do some experimentation, and there is a relationship between my sons eczema, grains and even his behaviour. Summer was good, except for one time when there was no fruit in the nursery, so they gave him some bread. That meant two days of bad behaviour (relatively), and a little flare up of eczema.

Now since september he goes to school, but eats at home. Still he got some eczema. We thought of a little bit of stress and maybe other unknown factors. But it got worse, and we saw the behavioural changes again. So we asked him, the teacher and his friends parents if he had been eating some cookies of bread from other kids, and indeed, he did eat them. So everybody now is very strict, since 4 days. We saw immediate improvement in behaviour and gradually decreasing eczema.

For us, the surprising part was the behavioural change. The most important change is the total abscence of tantrums and anger attacks. We think he has more appetite and eats generally better. While eating the grains in school, we noticed that at night his dipers were wet againg (he normally only wears them for security and were almost never wet in the morning).

Only problem is that we don't know how much cookies and bread he ate. That would be interesting because we would like to know if a little 'cheat' causes immediate reponse or not. Can he eat an occasional slice of birthday cake at school? That's is something to keep an eye on for the future...

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